CANBERRA, AAP – The housing industry believes home ownership should be made a priority whoever wins the federal election due in May.

The Housing Industry Association says its own research shows three-quarters of Australians believe people should be able to own their own home.

Of those respondents currently renting, 85 per cent aspire to own their home, but only 42 per cent feel they will ever achieve this.

Over half believe there is a role for incentives that support home ownership, while 69 per cent believe governments have a role in helping Australians buy their home.

“HIA remains dedicated to changing this statistic, and we believe that it is an objective that should be adopted by all political parties contesting the upcoming federal election,” HIA managing director Graham Wolfe said.

He said it has been a long held imperative for the association to have a minister for housing elevated into cabinet given housing is critical to Australian society and must be given the prominence it deserves.

“The housing affordability challenges facing Australian households can only be addressed if the supply of housing can align with demand,” Mr Wolfe said.

HIA estimates that 1.66 million houses will need to be built by 2030 just to keep up with the demand from population growth.

It calls for the unlocking of land supply to support new housing, saying there are systemic issues arising from the zoning, subdivision and development processes across all states and territories.

“It continues to take more than a decade to bring unzoned land to market as shovel-ready land,” the HIA said.

The association also believes there has been an underinvestment in social and community housing that has persisted for decades.

At the same time, there is a persistent shortage of skilled trade workers in the residential building industry, and prior to the pandemic there had been a steady decline in the number of people studying trade qualifications.

“In these times of ongoing uncertainty and turmoil, our mantra that home ownership matters remains a solid foundation for the association,” Mr Wolfe said.

“Our resolve to uphold our core value of home ownership for all Australians is a message all sides of politics will be hearing from HIA in 2022.”